Friday, March 22, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Remember

Ever since reading the word "remember" this morning that melancholy song from You've Got Mail that plays in the background when she's confessing that she has a store that is closing has been running through my mind.

God's been asking me to remember a lot lately. Last Friday we found out we are moving to Fort Worth, TX for Glenn to start his residency program. It was not our first choice. It was our second (a close second, almost tie for Glenn but for me a kind of distant second... I'm a bit scared of how demanding the program is and therefore how little I may see my husband and... Texas isn't exactly my first choice in places to live in terms of climate - January - maybe, July - not so much.)

Over the last week God has repeatedly reminded me of how He has worked in the past. The first thing was Lowville. I really didn't want to move to Lowville. It wasn't our first choice for an RMED site. God knew better than me though. He provided a great place for us to live and some wonderful friends for the 10 months that we lived there. I couldn't imagine having spent them anywhere else.

The night before last we were playing with some numbers trying to figure out what kind of housing we could afford and discovered that our take home, after taxes, for residency will be about $1000 more than the amount that we have had to live on monthly while in medical school. I then remembered that we have to start paying back on our school loans and in the only repayment option I remember Glenn telling me about we'll be having to pay at least $1000 a month on them. Ugg. There are probably other options for us to pay more or less a month but my first thought was: "There goes that extra $1000 I was looking forward to so we could buy more produce and actually buy meat every now and again." We've never been able to "Dave Ramsey Zero Based Budget" in medical school (thought the nerd in me wants to so badly!) because all of the required minimum expenses equal more than the amount we have to cover them but God always provided for our every need and so many wants as well, often in unexpected ways while we've been in medical school. I was looking forward to getting the the point of having a zero based budget, being able to put some money aside for other expenses, and to living slightly more comfortably in residency but that may not be part of God's plan. He likes us to depend on Him, even when we do start getting a paycheck again after 4 years without one. Ultimately everything we have comes from Him for us to steward, even if there is a hospital's name on the paycheck stubs.

I was still a bit miffed with the fact that the amount of money we have to live on isn't really going to change yesterday when we had a field trip with some other homeschoolers in a 4H group to a green house that a local homeschooling family runs. As I was chatting with one of the moms she noticed my daughter had a Houghton hat on and asked about it. I told her that Glenn had graduated from there and God whispered to me, "Sonja... do you remember Houghton?"

Do I remember Houghton?? Of course I remember Houghton!! Glenn needed to finish his undergrad degree and get his science pre-reqs and Houghton was one of 3 schools that we could find that would take his credits from the college we'd met at that had lost it's accreditation and let him continue and graduate. It was not my first choice because it is in the middle of no where and there was no place for us to work to provide for ourselves. Also there were slim pickings as far as housing was concerned and did I mention that there was no work available for either of us and that we had no idea how we were going to pay for said housing or, you know, food and stuff?? God made it abundantly clear that He wanted us to move to Houghton and every time I asked Him how on earth we were going to be able to afford to live He would say, "Trust Me." Oh, I got so frustrated with that answer!! I wanted to know exactly how He was going to do it. I didn't just want to step out in faith. I really wanted to know how exactly we were going to pay rent, buy food, buy books, buy diapers, pay tuition, etc. God just said, "Trust Me" so we went, trusting Him, knowing that He knew our needs better than we did. We didn't tell anyone before we left that we were pregnant with Lydia, baby #3. Everyone thought we were crazy enough venturing back to college with two kids (including us!) so we let baby number three go unmentioned until after we relocated.

I remember Houghton. Yes, I do.  I think that Houghton is where I truly got my feet wet in my faith. God had asked us to trust Him. We chose to step out in faith, not knowing what He was going to do or how He was going to do it and he proved Himself faithful and over abundantly generous. He provided everything that we needed in our time there. He also grew the faith of many of our friends there by giving them front row seats and giving them a chance to watch God work in our lives. When we went back there to visit before starting medical school they encouraged and reminded us of how faithful our God is and how He took care of us while we were there and they were confident that He was going to do it again.

Today my girls and I went back to the greenhouse because they wanted to help out some more and I had the privilege of listening to several stories of another lady's "remember"s of God's faithfully taking care of her and her family. It was so encouraging and humbling to listen to her tell stories of what God had done for her family over the years. It once again bolstered my faith that He is going to do it for us as well.

I'm so thankful for the challenges to remember that God has brought my way of how His choices are better than mine even if He doesn't give me my first choice. He knows better than me. I am so thankful for the opportunity we had to live in Houghton, Syracuse and Lowville, even though none of them were my first choices. I know that God is going to bless our time in Fort Worth just like He did the time He had us in other places I didn't want to move to.

I'm also thankful for the reminders of His faithfulness to provide for our needs. God provided for us when we were in college, God provided for us during our years of waiting to get into medical school, God has provided for us while we've been going through medical school, He is going to provide for us as we go through residency and beyond. He has and will continue to provide our every need. I can trust Him. Even when He doesn't give me what I think is best. His ways truly are best and I can trust Him.

Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
 make known among the nations what he has done. 
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
    tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name;
    let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Look to the Lord and his strength;
    seek his face always. 
Remember the wonders he has done,
    his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,
Psalm 105:1-5

“Remember this, keep it in mind,
    take it to heart, you rebels.
Remember the former things, those of long ago;
    I am God, and there is no other;
    I am God, and there is none like me.
I make known the end from the beginning,
    from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say, ‘My purpose will stand,
    and I will do all that I please.’
Isaiah 46:8-10 

OK, I totally didn't keep the 5 minute rule today but here's the link to FMF if you want to join in the fun on "Remember":
Five Minute Friday

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